The Sunday before Christmas, Relentless Church in Greenville, South Carolina, gave more than $30,000 to congregants, employees, and regular visitors who’d been facing tough times. This generosity comes as the church faces its own uncertainties, with a lease dispute resulting in its upcoming relocation.
During worship on December 22, pastors John Gray and Aventer Gray told various attendees the church was taking care of some of their expenses. A frequent visitor learned that her electricity bill was being paid. A member facing medical bills from a motorcycle accident received similar good news. A local family threatened with eviction received $10,000, the day’s largest gift.
Relentless Church’s Generosity Brightens Christmas
The gifts’ timing brought holiday joy to grateful recipients. After hearing that Relentless would cover his rent for a year and take him to a dealership to select a car, one man dropped to his knees. “He’s always here, and he’s always faithful,” said Aventer Gray of the man, admitting she only recently learned he was struggling.
Another man, Christopher Wright, says Relentless Church and the Grays have helped him before, through ongoing health issues as well as a house fire. When Wright received $2,200 on Sunday to pay for medical bills, he said, “Pastor John and Pastor Aventer are givers, not takers.” Out of gratitude for earlier gifts, Wright started serving on the church’s security team. Calling the entire experience “totally incredible” and “miraculous,” Wright says he’s been able to see how “God works in me,” despite various challenges. Becoming part of the ministry at Relentless, he says, feels even better than receiving financial blessings.
Relentless Soon Will Be on the Move
At the church’s New Year’s Eve worship service, John Gray is expected to announce the new Greenville location for Relentless Church—as well as a new congregation in Atlanta. Relentless has been leasing the facilities of the former Redemption Church, vacated when pastors Ron and Hope Carpenter moved to California. Terms of the agreement have been in dispute, however, leading Redemption to give Relentless a 30-day eviction notice at the end of November.
The Carpenters have alleged that John Gray is “shady” and “dishonest,” while Gray insists he pastors “with honor and integrity.” Previously, Gray served at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in Houston. “Every single pastor I’ve ever served would still have me back on their staff,” Gray says, “and that should be enough for you to know that I am a man that could be trusted with the navigation of your soul.”
Controversy Isn’t New for John Gray
Earlier this year, Gray made headlines for admitting to an “emotional affair”—but denying rumors of fathering a child outside his marriage. Last December, he was criticized for buying his wife a $200,000 Lamborghini as an anniversary gift. Relentless Church reportedly spent $1.8 million on a home for the Grays.
Gray has been called out for his lavish lifestyle. In April, Pastor Jomo Johnson urged Gray to embrace minimalism and take #TheJesusChallenge. Gray also has been featured on the PreachersNSneakers Instagram page, which showcases church leaders who wear expensive clothing.